DXO PhotoLab Finally Supports Lumix G9

Posted Jun. 14th, 2018 by Daniel J. Cox

DxO PhotoLab, my preferred RAW converter software, has finally added support for my favorite camera, the Lumix G9. Oringally support for the G9 was supposed to be out in February 2018. It’s taken until now to finally get it.

I must admit, I’m no fan of DxO taking so long to support new cameras. But… if you understand their unique software model, you begin to appreciate the reasons they’re always behind Adobe and others. I have no insider information, but from DxO’s marketing materials here is what they’re up against when trying to get an update out.

The “Thing” that makes DxO products so unique, particularly DxO PhotoLab, is the individual testing of EVERY lens, for any camera they decide to support. It’s possible that they may skip some lenses, but from my experience I’ve not found any I use that they don’t support. They put each lens model through their own in-house scientific analysis, checking for color issues, chromatic aberrations, soft edges, and who knows what else. They then program their findings into the software, making fixes for any problems found with additional fixes for aberrations found on the camera’s sensor. In the end, the software makes corrections to produce a superior image, eliminating—or at least removing as much as possible—the physical limitations of glass and hardware. Scientifically documenting and programing fixes for all the lenses of a particular system must be daunting. And it’s my guess the reason the process of updates can take quite some time.

Keep in mind that Adobe claims to have the same ability to fix lens and cameras issues with their so-called ‘Lens Profile.’ And they did it specifically to compete with the quality DxO was producing. But based on what I’ve seen in Lightroom, there’s a lot of manual, do-it-yourself options I know nothing about. You can even make your own custom adjustment for a particular lens and camera, but for goodness sakes, what the heck do I know about analyzing a lens from an optics performance standpoint? Not to mention where am I going to get the equipment to do a professional job?  I think you get my point. Adobe suggests they do something similar, but from what I can tell and I may be wrong, Adobe doesn’t do the in-depth testing DxO PhotoLab does. Maybe the folks from Adobe refute this in the comments below?

The G9 is Panasonic’s still photography beast of a machine. A newly redesigned body proves that Lumix is serious about building cameras for several different groups.

DxO PhotoLab is the software portion of the Micro Four Thirds Triad I often talk to my students about. The Micro Four Thirds Triad consists of 1) the most up to date and current camera (G9 or equivalent) combined with 2) the highest quality lenses (think Leica 200mm F/2.8 and Leica 12-60mm) processed with 3) the best quality RAW converter you can get (DxO PhotoLab). Combine these three things and Micro Four Thirds has no problem competing head on with the traditional full frame DSLRs.

The new Leica 200mm F/2.8 (400mm equivalent)

To be completely fair, not all is well within the DxO community. Just last April, 2018 DxO Labs announced the French version of bankruptcy proceedings. Not great news unfortunately. DxO is proud to promote their heritage of being founded by world-class engineers which they claim makes them different and better than the competition. However, I’ve seen other amazing products–the early days of  Drobo for example–where engineers founded and ran the company and nearly destroyed it. Thankfully, Drobo is alive and well due to new management. Let’s hope the amazing image engineers at DxO can find new success and marketing management to do the same for DxO PhotoLab. I absolutely love this software and I’m rooting for them.

Finally, DxO recently purchased Nik software from Google. Nik’s always had a cult-like following, and it’s great news that DxO has brought it back from the ashes. Interestingly, DxO PhotoLab has many, if not all, the Nik tools built within the PhotoLab infrastructure, but from what I understand you can download the Nik modules independently. Apparently the Nik tools are downloaded as plugins to Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CC which then gives you similar options that I’m using with DxO PhotoLab. I’m not completely familiar with how Nik works with Lightroom or Photoshop since I’ve completely switched over to Mylio as my database tool and DxO PhotoLab for processing my pictures.

However you’re working with your pictures now, you owe it to yourself to give these DxO software tools a try. Especially if you’re following the mantra of the Micro Four Thirds Triad. This is the third leg that can get you the quality to compete with full-frame cameras.

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There are 15 comments on this post…
  1. Portrait of John Ohnemus

    John OOn Aug. 17th, 2018

    Dan, thanks for your reply. All my Aperture pix files are on an external hard drive and backed up to a 2nd external hard drive. I have a small number of photos in iPhoto and therefore on the main hard drive. This is in answer to your blog question.

    Too, I use a file plan which I established long ago. Must that change in Mylio? I sense that Mylio relies on metadata entries, yes or no? Is DXO reliant on any file structure?

    Perhaps, for an old soldier like me, it would be best to use Apple Photos, sans cloud. Your thoughts pro and con?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 17th, 2018

      Great to hear from you John. I have to say that Apple’s Photos is a powerful option. But… I know people who have used it and find Mylio easier to use and navigate. I guess it depends on what you do with your pictures John. Do you share them? Do you do prints? Mylio is a bit more difficult to set up initially but that could change this fall. They have a new release coming that they’ve been working hard to make the startup process much easier. if you want to talk about this over the phone feel free to call the office. I think you have the number. If not I’ll send it to you. Let me know buddy.

  2. FloydOn Jul. 27th, 2018

    Will Mylio pull all of my images from Photos on my iMac?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 27th, 2018

      Absolutely! Here’s an online article showing how to move from Apple photos to Mylio. https://mylio.com/support/import-photos/

  3. Portrait of John Ohnemus

    John J. OhnemusOn Jul. 25th, 2018

    Hi Dan,

    I’m glad to know I’m not the last to have stayed with Aperture. This weekend I took some family pictures in RAW. Aperture DK’d the pictures and I could not work with them. I believe it’s time to update. Will I face difficulty in converting my picture library to DXO PhotoLab? Would I use Mylio for that purpose? Do you buy and own these software systems or is a monthly fee charged? Please help.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 27th, 2018

      John, there’s actually a tool to bring over your Aperture library to Mylio. Here’s an online link to an article explaining that process: https://mylio.com/support/import-aperture/ DXO PhotoLab mainly works as a tool to edit your images. I use Mylio to keep track of all pictures and DXO PhotoLab to do quality editing. Mylio is a subscription fee but DXO PhotoLab is a one shot purchase price. Do you have all your pictures on your Mac or are they on external drive/drives?

  4. Jim BeanOn Jun. 17th, 2018

    Really found this interesting. Trying to up my game with M4/3. Would love to learn more about the “how to’s” of using DXO as I am totally new to it. (Just purchased based on your blog post.) Any trainings or additional pointers you could recommend I would appreciate. Thanks!

  5. Louis BerkOn Jun. 15th, 2018

    NIK tools are essential to me in my processing. I’ve been using the tools with Lightroom CC and its predecessors for several years. NIK tools are the reason I spend a lot less time, in fact almost none, in Adobe PS. I have a lot of recipes stored – although I have to say I mainly use the tools for landscape work – for wildlife, e.g. birds I find at present that the G9 with the 200/2.8 produces such well balanced results, LR improvements where necessary are enough. I am not enanmoured of the recent release of LR. It is very buggy and I am having regular freezes (e.g. ‘not responding’ messages in Windows) and also there is sometimes strange behaviour. I will definitely checkout DxO but the issue would be converting the libraries. I spent over a month last year finally tagging all my photos, as well as deleting a lot of unwanted stuff. I still have some 62,000 photographs – the majority of which are an archive gathered over 14 years in London’s Whitechapel district and a source of both pride and income, to me.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jun. 15th, 2018

      Louis, You probably know I gave up on Lightroom a couple of years ago. Mainly due to speed issues trying to get through 1 Million+ files. I’m now using Mylio and the good news is that Mylio reads XMP side car files. I also have many images that have captions, keywords etc., that due to XMP side car files, I was able to Import into Mylio without issues. You have to tell Lightroom to save Metadata to XMP side car files first, it’s not a default option. If you’re unaware of how to do this just let me know and I’ll add this info. It’s under Catalog Settings. I highly recommend doing this whether using Mylio, DXO PhotoLab, Luminar or any other program. Here’s a link to the Mylio support portal that talks about migrating Lightroom catalogs over to Mylio. https://mylio.com/support/import-lightroom/

  6. SteveOn Jun. 14th, 2018

    I have been a long time user of DxO and have tried most other software packages except Photoshop. I do believe that Dx0 is unique in how it works, and every time I try something else, I always go back to DxO for RAW processing. Now they have
    U-point technology built into DxO and local adjustments too, this only strengthens DxO. I think they just need to improve their marketing. There is no better RAW processor, the auto adjustments specific to your camera and lens combination, their engineering and scientific know-how combined with U-point technology means DxO should be on top of any photogrpahers purchase list.

    Thanks for the heads-up on Mylio, I will check it out.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jun. 15th, 2018

      You are dead on with all your comments. I too have tried other programs only to come back to DXO PhotoLab for RAW processing. I also could not agree more with your comment about DXO needing to improve their marketing. It’s interesting, I’ve been around long enough to see several companies that were started by engineers, struggle due to their inability to market. It’s always a Catch 22. Savvy marketers typically don’t have the goods and quality engineers don’t lytically have the knowledge to market. Drobo, in it’s early days, was in this exact situation. Great product built and sold by engineers. They were eventually bought by a knowledgeable business person and are now doing great. Maybe DXO will come out of bankruptcy with a new team of leaders to help guide the amazing engineers that built this fabulous product.

  7. Keith G.On Jun. 14th, 2018

    Dan, can you explain what you mean by “Micro Four Thirds Triad”?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jun. 14th, 2018

      Keith, I’ve mentioned in other Blog posts my thoughts about what I call the Micro Four Thirds Triad. I’m working on a video explaining it in more detail but it’s basically this. The MFT Triad is a combination of these three things to achieve results, from the smaller MFT cameras, that compete with full frame DSLR’s

      1). Use the most current MFT camera with the newest, best sensors such as the Lumix G9, GH5 or the Olympus OM-D EM1 Markll.
      2). Use the most professional, high quality, dedicated lenses such as the Leica 200mm F/2.8 or the Leica 12-60mm zoom.
      3). Process your images with DXO PhotoLab to pull out all the detail the smaller files can possibly produce.

      Hope this helps.

  8. ReneOn Jun. 14th, 2018

    Hi Dan,

    I’ve been using DxO software for about a year now after finally making the switch over from Aperture (which I still miss for its ease of use) and I agree that as a RAW converter it is the best. My one complaint with it is that is is very slow for culling down a mass of photos. I’ve been using Fast Raw Viewer for culling, but that’s got it’s own issues also. Thoughts?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jun. 14th, 2018

      Rene, I agree that DXO is a miserable sorting tool that just doesn’t cut it for getting through thousands of images quickly. For that I use Mylio which is also the tool I use for keeping tack of my images. Not many people are aware of Mylio but it’s a fabulous program that I use daily. It’s changed my life in being able to get to my entire photo collection which currently consists of 1,088,979 images. It works well with DXO PhotoLab by allowing me to easily select an image within Mylio and do an “Edit With” which then opens the oringal RAW in DXO PhotoLab. When I save the corrected file DXO PhotoLab saves the image back to the oringal folder where Mylio automatically sees it and brings it into my main database. It’s a great tool. The other option is to use Photo Mechanic to quickly cut images and also take them out to DXO PhotoLab.

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